Change

Change is inevitable in life, nothing stays the same. Some embrace change others resist and defy it. I have always welcome change no matter how difficult it may be. Although I can say it can be quite an adjustment if you do not accept the change it may cause you to be quite unhappy.

Change happens frequently in healthcare, assignments, patients, equipment personnel and protocols. It is just the way it is and we have to adapt to the every changing environment.

I was told once, that everything starts with a decision. To accept change, you must embrace it so you can live your life to the fullest, or not. I have experienced both realities and I am sure you have as well. On one occasion as unhappy as I was I could not generate a change in location no matter what I did, and how I prayed. It was not until I decided to embrace the change and settle into the life that was before me, that the change I sought finally manifested.

Once the change occurred and I was able to relocate, the happiness was short lived and I realized I should have sought out a different outcome. I prayed for the change and got what I thought I wanted and had to accept the results. I believe God has a great sense of humor, he may not give you what you want at the moment but when he does you better be ready to accept it good or bad.

Change is like a rubber band, and you must be able to adapt easily to remain energized in life. Do not become stiff and resistant embrace the new and become the change you want to see!

Ayurveda Medicine

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Ayurveda medicine is one of the oldest medical systems and originated in India (niccih.nih.gov, 2021). The practice is based on the natural and holistic approach to both physical and mental health utilizing diet, exercise, and lifestyle. (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 2021).

Clinical trials have been done utilizing Ayurveda medicine for pain, osteoarthritis, diabetes and colitis in comparison with conventional treatments and or other herbs, with inconclusive results.

According to Ayurvedic medicine, illnesses may occur due to the imbalance that occur between the psychological and physiological body, causing the unbalance of your three life forces or energies (Dreier, 2021). Ayurvedic medicine suggests a consumption of “hot” foods and or drink such as ginger which is good for colds and congestion (Dreier, 2021).

As a proponent of holistic health, I find common sense with this practice and in conjunction with traditional medicine one can remain healthy and well.

Please do not use Ayurvedic medicine instead of seeking out your physician regarding your medical issues. This blog is for informational purposes only and to increase your knowledge about holistic health and wellness. For more information about Ayurveda medicine review the websites below.

References

WedMD, (2021). What is Ayurveda. Retrieved from What Is Ayurveda? Treatments, Massage, Diet, and More (webmd.com)

What is Ayurvedic Medicine. (2021). Retrieved from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/ayurvedic-medicine-in-depth?nav=gov

Dreier, S. (2021). Using Ayurvedic Medicine to Fight the Common Cold and Flu. Retrieved from Using Ayurvedic Medicine to Fight the Common Cold and Flu – Soren Dreier

Addressing the Elephant in the Room

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I was asked why do I always address the elephant in the room.   I was taken back by that comment but embraced it, because it is true.   Before I go on I must explain “what is the elephant in the room” for those who are not familiar with the term.   We have all been in situations that were so uncomfortable or odd that no one wants to address and “open the can of worms”.  The heaviness in the room causes all to whisper about the situation but, no one will address the issue and elicit a discussion.  

We have all worked in environments where difficult situations were not discussed openly but acknowledged by someone in the group after the meeting.   Someone says “bless their heart”, the group snickers and continue with their activity, as they whisper among themselves.   I have always found this behavior odd, and always felt I was missing something.   I have been the person who will talk about the elephant, and put it on the table, so we can all move on, no matter how uncomfortable.

I believe it reduces friction, gets things out the open, reproduces rumors, and hopefully promotes truth.   However, I have found even though the issue is opened for discussion it may still be difficult to elicit conversation about the situation.  You may not get any answers, but you have to inquire.  

Questioning and inquiring have been my mode of operation at work and at home.  It doesn’t always end well but I inquire and on occasion people get upset and words are exchanged.  Is it better to work around the elephant in the room or upset others and attempt to address the elephant?   As I have gotten older, and my emotional intelligence has sharpened I have taken on a new attitude.  I am not as curious and inquisitive as I use to be.  I am sure this is probably due to age and life experience.  

In the past, I felt I had to speak up about things that were not equitable in the workplace.  What I found, others were not willing to support me because of their own self-interest or fears even though they may have felt the same.  It was unfortunate and a hard lesson to learn.  I found people do not always appreciate the truth and would rather hear something else, even if it is not in their self interest.

On another note, there was a insurrection by the President and his follower this week. If someone had addressed the elephant in the White House, I am sure the outcome would have been different.

As I have gotten older I have decided to remove myself from these situations.  This has not always proved to be advantageous for me, BECAUSE I can imagine the outcome, which is not always positive and I feel I should speak up.  I let others rant and rave about things and realize they do not have all the facts, but I listen, and sometimes respond.  This approach has caused me physical distress, and I used to boast I would not have ulcers because I did not internalize things that upset me, to spare others feelings.

Are their feelings more important than yours or mine and should you cause yourself harm to keep others happy by keeping quiet?  I think not, the goal in life is to remain healthy and free of disease so I believe you should speak up no matter how painful it is for you and others and do the right thing.  I do realize many do not have the resolve to speak up and are willing to go along to get along. Which is unfortunate. Sometimes YOU have to address the elephant in the room, Congress are you listening? 

As a nurse, this role is essential to ensure you are keeping patients safe and healthy, but others in the healthcare area including leadership do not always want to hear what you have to say either.   How do you handle the elephant in the room, especially when you know the outcome? 

Just keeping you informed!

Welcome to 2021

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Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

You can exhale now, 2020 is gone! We can move on with the expectation of the new year and what it will bring. We all would like to enjoy our families and friends once again post COVID.

Please remember to wear a mask, social distance and wash your hands. We are in a new year, but those infected by the virus and hospitalizations have increased, leaving health care workers tired and exhausted.

As a member of the human race, can you do your part to ensure you are not contributing to the spread of this deadly virus. It would be so nice to enjoy a wonderful spring, without mask and social distancing. A small sacrifice now will reap bountiful benefits later.

Think of others and remember we are all in this pandemic together. You may not die from the pandemic but there are long term effects of this virus. The virus can damage the lungs, heart, and brain and increase the risk of long-term health problems, including problems with the sexual dysfunction in males.

This issue requires full participation from all, not just a few. Please be a part of the solution. Just keeping you informed.

Reference

Mayo Clinic, COVID-19, Long Term Affects. Retrieved from fhttps://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-long-term-effects/art-20490351

Maintaining your Health and Wellbeing

Christmas is over and if you are like me, you are looking forward to 2021 and what it will bring. I am really looking forward to a new year. Many individuals make New Year’s resolutions that include losing weight and exercising. In the past the gyms were full in January with individuals dedicated to improving their health and wellbeing. Typically the dedication is gone the first week in March, and people lose interest. The gyms are open in Texas, but the uncertainty of the pandemic will determine if individuals will be going back to the gym in mass in January. I have not been going the gym, but walking outside and enjoying nature.

Never the less, you can do a few things to ensure you are meeting your health goals in the New Year. Remember physical transformation always starts with food, be sure you are eating more fruits and vegetables, less processed foods and limit your alchol intake.

Some type of physical activity and or exercise are also essential elements to maintain your health, lose weight and increase stamina. It is imperative you chose the type of exercise you enjoy. This will promote more participation, and commitment.

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Adequate sleep is also an important component, and is necessary so the body can repair itself. To ensure you are getting enough sleep, reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake and the use of technology prior to going to sleep. Put yourself on a schedule and go to bed the same time every night to promote adequate sleep.

Lastly, a positive outlook will assist you to endure any challenges that may arise with your diet, exercise routine or sleep patterns. I encourage you to laugh everyday, find something to laugh about. The very act of laugher is good for your outlook and your soul. Children laugh all the time, but adults are too serious and get entangled in the trappings of life. We forget what is truly important. Move toward 2021 with a grateful heart and optimism to maintain your health and wellbeing so you can be the best you!

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Just keeping you informed!

Hallelujah Diet

According to McCoy (2009) the Hallelujah Diet is a biblical plant-based diet that can nourish your body so you can reclaim your natural self-healing power. The diet has also been reviewed by dietitians and physicians who endorse the healing properties of this diet. It requires you to give up processed food and eat more fruits and vegetables. During this pandemic it is necessary for you to be at your ideal weight, and in optimum health, but you should want that for yourself regardless.

Below are the elements of the diet for your review, taken from the website https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/hallelujah-diet.aspx.

This maybe something you would like to try after the holidays. The Hallelujah Diet suggests that 85 percent of your diet should consist of “living” foods, which include:

  • Fresh vegetable juices
  • Dairy alternatives like almond milk and banana milk
  • Organic fresh or dried fruit, though this is limited to 15 percent of daily intake
  • Uncooked whole grains, such as soaked oats and ground flax seed
  • Raw beans and peas
  • Raw nuts and seeds, eaten sparingly because of their high calorie count
  • Oils, including extra-virgin olive oil and flax oil
  • Fresh herbs and seasonings
  • Raw vegetables

The other 15 percent of your diet can consist of certain cooked foods, such as:

  • Stewed fruit
  • Whole-grain breads, cereals, and pastas
  • Cooked beans
  • Homemade vegan soups
  • Steamed or stir-fried vegetables
  • Herbal teas
  • Non-dairy cheeses and milks

The following foods are strictly avoided on the Hallelujah Diet:

  • Alcohol, coffee, tea, cocoa, and carbonated drinks
  • Animal products, including meat, fish, and dairy
  • Processed foods, including canned fruits or vegetables, refined grains, and hydrogenated oils
  • Roasted or salted nuts or seeds
  • Salt and pepper

It is also suggested once you’ve start a plant-based diet, the following supplements should be taken to fill any nutritional gaps related to a vegan diet: Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3/K2, Iodine, Selenium, DHA (and omega-3 fatty acid).

This is not just a diet but a lifestyle change that takes commitment. A change in diet will change your health, and your life. Ease yourself into the change, gradually. I suggest you get a coach, or an accountability partner who is willing to make the change with you.

Commit to your diet change for a week at a time, so you do not get overwhelmed. As you finish the first week, celebrate that mile stone with a movie or treat yourself to an activity you enjoy, so you can look forward to moving to the next week with confidence. After the first week it does get better.

I have tried the diet and it is effective. I currently utilize many elements of the diet to maintain my personal health and wellness. Remember food is medicine and if you want to change your health status you must be willing to change the way you eat, even if you do not subscribe to this diet. Move to the New Year with belief that you can and will control your health and wellness by consuming more fruits and vegetables and reduce your consumption of process food. You might surprise yourself and your physician on your next visit.

McCoy, K. (2009). The Hallelujah Diet, retrieved from https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/hallelujah-diet.aspx

Black American’s Skeptical View of the COVID-19 Vaccine

There is skepticism about the current offer of the COVID-19 vaccine, within the Black community. Many Black Americans do not trust the scientific/research community associated with marketing the vaccine. The trust has been eroded and there is anxiety and fear regarding this issue.

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For those who are not aware, there are several events that have affected the psyche of Black Americans, related to the medical community.  The Tuskegee Study involved enrolling Black men in a syphilis study in 1932 for the promise of free healthcare. Once penicillin was discovered as a cure in 1947, this information was not shared with the participants. The physicians felt the goal was to continue the study until all the participants died and the autopsies could be analyzed.

As a result the participants suffered the long term affects of the disease, that included but not limited to arthritis, brain damage, blindness and death. The disease was also passed to 19 children at birth. It was not until the mid 1960’s that this unethical behavior was discovered, and the study was not stopped until 1972 after public out cry.

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Another unethical event involved Henrietta Lax, who was being treated at John Hopkins Hospital for cervical cancer in 1951 and passed away. The physician did not get her consent or inform Ms. Lax or her family that he was using her cells for medical research after she died. In fact the family did not find out about the breach in the informed consent process until 1975.

The HELA cells, as they called now, has been shared with a multitude of researchers by biotech companies who have made millions selling the families genetic data. The use of the HELA cells has contributed to medical research for many diseases. Ms. Lax and her heirs have never received any monetary compensation from the million dollar biotech companies that utilize the HELA cells in their research.

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In both of the cases, researchers were never forth coming about the information. Modern day issues include, health disparities and implicit bias by many medical professional toward minorities and the poor.

Since public trust has been eroded by the research and medical community they will have to go the extra mile to ensure all questions and concerned are addressed. The issues of trust should have been anticipated and hopefully it will be seriously addressed by the research community.

As a nurse and former research nurse, who is not on the front line, I probably will not be eligible for the vaccine until next year. Hopefully the side effects are few because the front line staff are essential to maintaining health & wellness to the masses. Everything remains to be seen and with more information coming we all can make informed decisions regarding the vaccine and our health.

In the meantime, continue to wash your hands, wear a mask and social distance. We want you to do your part to stay safe and healthy and reduce the spread.

References:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/10/25/556673640/scientists-work-to-overcome-legacy-of-tuskegee-study-henrietta-lacks

Nix, E, 2019, Tuskegee Experiment: The Infamous Syphilis Study – HISTORY

How Do You Deal With Ignorance In Your Industry?

If you provide any type of service to the public you have dealt with ignorance by individuals who are unaware of the service you provide, and or the consequences that occur due to their lack of knowledge. The service may be healthcare, teaching, law, insurance, home or car repairs and the list goes on.

Ignorance is defined as a lack of knowledge or information. In these times we all have friends and family who appear to be smart, rational individuals. For some reason, they remain ignorant about COVID-19 and the science related to transmission, or just refuse to acknowledge the issue. Several people told me they did not know anyone who had gotten the virus and it was not an issue for them.

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For those in healthcare the outcome of bad information has become particularly frustrating. The messaging has been lost due to outside voices who appear to have no interest in public health or the care of others. As a society what are we to do? A large segment of the population don’t believe in science and the other half have to go great lengths to keep themselves safe from those who insist on defiling the science.

It has been exhausting watching and observing those who live in a alternative reality, and feed on misinformation. You do your best to explain the facts, and it does not get through. They respond and say “I haven’t heard that”. Someone told me we just voted for socialism and I was so stunned, I had to disengage.

It has been an unspoken rule, that certain people believe they have more rights than others in this society, and that is another conversation. It is time that this behavior is dealt with to reduce deaths and the spread of COVID-19. If not this pandemic will continue to spread and add additional stress on the healthcare system.

Bravo to the front line workers and my colleagues who show up daily to provide care to the ignorant and those who were exposed even though they did the right thing. It is their charge at the moment and it is unfortunate that they can not get more support from the community to reduce the spread. The numbers are rising and healthcare workers are tired, stressed and some have caught the virus.

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A certain sect of society believe people are expendable and put profits over people. Currently there are not enough health care workers, teachers or other front line workers to rotate, there is no back up. This is a pandemic, and other countries are dealing with similar issues, and no one is coming to assist. It is up to us to deal with this issue, but we have to be on the same page. Please do your part!

Stay well, wear a mask, wash your hands, and social distance to reduce spread. Someone you love and care about is depending on you to be more diligent.

Gratitude

During this pandemic we are asked to do things to keep ourselves and others safe, wear a mask, social distance and avoid crowds. We are social creatures and many of us are having difficulty embracing our alone time. 

Its time to dig deep within yourself and find gratitude in the small things.  We create our own reality no matter what is going on externally.  Focus on what you have, not what you do not have.  For those who have children at home, I am sure you have a new appreciation for teachers and the jobs they do.  

Be deliberate and practice gratitude.  It will change who you are and make you more appreciative for people, places and things in your life.  Start a gratitude journey.  Before going to bed, reflect on the day to show gratitude and appreciation for the days events and the people you encountered. 

Always remember, it could be worse, no matter what your issue is.  Someone is experiencing something far worse than you could ever imagine. 

Take some time and take an inventory of what you are grateful for.  This exercise opens up space for you to receive additional abundance in your life.

Focus!

It’s Time for Yoga!

We have tried everything to relax and unplug, with minimal results so let try yoga!

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Yoga involves exercise, breath and diet control, relaxation, and meditation. Yoga is known as a practice to unite the mind and body with the environment by using focus, chants, affirmations and or breath to foster harmony and calmness within the body.

The health benefits of yoga include physical, mental, and spiritual changes. These benefits include the balance of emotions, inner peace, reduction of stress and strain. Yoga also increases body awareness, flexibility and strength and claims to increase concentration, focus and the regulation of pain.

There are several types of yoga, and some are listed below. Feel free to visit the resources below for more information about additional types of yoga and the benefits.

Kundalini Yoga utilizes singing and chanting in the physical, and spiritual practice.

Vinyasa yoga is an active practice that utilizes more movement and less stillness from their yoga practice.

Hatha Yoga includes a mix of asana (poses), pranayama (breathing exercises), and meditation. Lyengar, ashtanga, or Bikram — are technically considered to be hatha yoga as well.

Ashtanga yoga utilizes six series of specific poses taught in order, and is great for anyone who likes routine or a more physical yet spiritual practice.

Bikram yoga consist of a set series of poses performed in the same order, and the practice has strict rules. Each class is 90 minutes, with 26 postures and two breathing exercises, and the room must be 105° Fahrenheit with 40 percent humidity.

Yin yoga is a slower style of yoga in which poses are held for a minute and eventually up to five minutes or more. This type of yoga has roots in martial arts as well as yoga, and it’s designed to increase circulation in the joints and improve flexibility.

Namaste…

References

Lucy, L. (2020). Yoga and Today’s Nurse, AHNA Beginnings, 40 (3). p.10-12.

Yoga Journal. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.yogajournal.com

Yoga Medicine. (2018). Types of Yoga: A guide to the different styles. Retrieved from https://yogamedicine.com/guide-types-yoga-styles/

Have a Wonderful Holiday Season!

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The holiday season is officially here.  Please ensure you and yours are healthy and well in 2021.  It is up to you!   Make good choices, be considerate,  have gratitude, and give thanks for your tribulations and blessing.   Without the tribulations, you would not see the blessings that show up in your life.   It is easy to become cynical about life when things are not going your way.   Stay safe, social distance, wear a mask and wash your hands. 

Enjoy the holidays!

Health and Wellness Stories: Episode 1: Self Care is Mission Critical

Strategies to change your health through diet. These steps will assist you to change your diet. 1. have a coach, 2. start with small steps, 3. prepare your meals, 4. meditate, 5. spend time in nature, 6. be open to alternative options, 7. trust yourself, and 8. use visual cues as a reminder of your goal. Good Luck!

Stay well!

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